Sometimes too much information is a bad thing. For Clinton-Massie’s Chris Demler, such was the case at last week’s Region 8 Track & Field Championship at Piqua High School.
A state qualifier last season, Demler said he was more nervous this season as the Division II regional competition unfolded in Miami County.
“Last year, I didn’t even know what regionals were, so this year I was definitely more nervous,” said Demler, who posted a personal best height of 6-4 to finish second overall.
Clinton-Massie head coach Brian Mudd said Demler’s jitters were noticeable in the week leading up to the regional meet.
“Last week, we battled a lot of nerves, just during the week,” said Mudd. “Last year, it was almost the direct opposite. Last year we thought he could make it to the state meet but we didn’t really know what kind of shot he had.
“This year, he really wanted to make it again but we struggled with just some basic form stuff in practice because of the nerves.”
Perhaps Demler was forced to focus a bit more to overcome that anxiety because his week of practice was one of his best.
“This year, I was definitely more nervous but I had a lot better preparation,” he said.
That Demler was able to clear a personal best 6-4 to secure the regional runnerup position may be somewhat of a surprise. He attempted the height just twice during the season.
“I really felt good,” Demler said of last week’s effort. “Last year I never got over anything above 6-2. I tried higher but never did (make it). This year in practice, I’ve definitely practiced to get as high as I could but this was the first clean time I’ve been over 6-4, so that’s a good feeling.”
Mudd believes the adrenalin rush which accompanies a meet — but not a practice session — has contributed to Demler’s difficulties in clearing 6-4.
“The competitive nature of any athlete gives you that extra adrenalin,” said Mudd. “He was a little frustrated in practice because he’s not clearing 6-4, 6-5, but there’s not that adrenalin rush, that little extra boost you need to compete at your highest level.”
The Clinton-Massie high jump record of 6-5 is held jointly by Chad Wilson and Scott Ilg.
In the for what it’s worth department, only one of 16 high jumpers at this year’s Div. II state meet cleared 6-5 last week. Demler is one of seven who cleared 6-4 while six others cleared 6-3.
But once the state meet starts, the adrenalin will be surging and the goal remains the same as it was last year.
“We’re looking forward to getting on the podium,” said Mudd. “Really that was the goal once we left the state meet last year. Hopefully that experience (last year) will benefit him this year.”
Demler, a slender 6-5 multi-sport athlete, has signed to play football for NCAA Division II University of Findlay.
“Findlay had what I wanted to study,” said Demler, who plans to major in pre-veterinary.
“It’s something I’ve been pretty interested in since eighth grade,” Demler said.
In addition to high jumping, the CM senior is a kicker for the football team and post player on the basketball team.
On the season, Demler made 5 of 5 field goals from 30-39 yards and 6 of 7 overall. He was 49 of 53 on extra point attempts after making 73 of 75 last year. He had 28 touchbacks on 71 kickoffs.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports